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Canada takes over first place with win, United States remains idle to cap Friday’s action

by Peter Pupello / Tampa Bay Lightning

With Team USA having the day off for a second consecutive day on Friday, Team Canada got right back to the task at hand and defeated Belarus 4-1 to vault the Canadians into first place in the tournament with 13 points.

Lightning forward Steven Stamkos recorded a goal and an assist for a total of two points, while Claude Giroux had a goal and three points for his native country in the win.

Belarus’ weakness was exposed early on, beginning in the first period, when Ryan O’Reilly and Andrew Ladd scored back-to-back to give Team Canada a comfortable 2-0 lead.

Stamkos scored in the middle frame to extend the lead to three goals, and Giroux’s tally came in the final period for a 4-0 advantage.

On the brink of being shut out, Belarus did close the deficit with a late goal with just four minutes to go in the game, but that was as close as it would come as Canadian goaltender Devan Dubnyk enjoyed a relatively easy day, stopping nine of only 10 shots faced throughout the game.

Canada (4-0-1-0) now has a day off before playing the Czechs on Sunday afternoon, while Team USA will return to action on Saturday against France.

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